LOMA LINDA (CBSLA) — As flu season rages, Loma Linda University Medical Center has once again set up its overflow tent as a waiting room for patients suffering from the virus.
“We are seeing a lot of cases of flu, more so than we have in previous years,” Dr. Heather Tassone, who works in the Loma Linda emergency room, said. “We are seeing, in California, a greater number of deaths than last year at this time.”
The current flu season is on track to be one of the worst in recent history. In almost every state, 10 million have become sick so far, 4,800 people have died — including 70 in California and one just confirmed in Orange County.
On Monday, health officials said a Tustin man died from complications related to the flu near the end of December. The Orange County Health Care Agency said the man had “underlying health conditions” and died from “complications related to influenza B infection.”
Influenza B, a strain of the virus that tends to hit children hard, has been the main culprit of illness this year. So far 32 children have died from complications such as pneumonia, encephalitis and sinusitis.
Doctors say those who are sick should stay home and those who are healthy should keep washing their hands to keep the virus at bay. And, they said, it’s not too late to get the flu vaccine.